- The Beelitz Heilstätten hospital complex in Beelitz, Germany, has been abandoned for 25 years.
- The 121-year-old hospital served as a military hospital during World Wars I and II, and its list of patients include a young Adolf Hitler.
- Chilling photos show what the abandoned hospital looks like today.
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Not far from Berlin stands a 121-year-old hospital that has been abandoned for 25 years.
The Beelitz Heilstätten complex in Beelitz, Germany, was once the largest treatment center in the world for lung diseases like tuberculosis.
During World War I, it was used as a military hospital. One of its patients during that time was none other than Adolf Hitler, who as a soldier in 1916, was wounded in the thigh by a shell blast during the Battle of the Somme.
The complex served again as a military hospital during World War II, and was then occupied by the Soviet military for 50 years. The Soviets abandoned the site in 1995, and although select sections of the hospital are now used for research and rehabilitation, most of the complex has remained virtually untouched for nearly 25 years.
As a photographer with a focus on abandoned buildings and a passion for history, I traveled to Beelitz to photograph the abandoned hospital complex in 2014 and 2018.
Here's what Beelitz Heilstätten looks like today.
Although Beelitz Heilstätten is outside of Berlin, some of the exteriors of its buildings resemble English country-style homes.
The hospital is huge and has multiple long, ominous corridors leading to the old patient rooms.
The dark corridors with peeling paint on the walls make wandering around the abandoned complex a creepy experience.
Considering the decay of some of the rooms, it's hard to visualize the thousands of patients who used to walk through these buildings regularly.
In this entryway, you can see the paint fading on the ornately designed walls.
Over the years, some of the buildings within the complex have been renovated or repainted. Here's how one of the staircases looked in 2014 …
… and here it is again, four years later.
This grandiose room with a bath in the center is a popular location for artists. Scenes from the films "Valkyrie" and "The Pianist" were filmed here, as was a music video by the German band Rammstein.
While most of the complex was completely emptied out when it was abandoned, this stunning piano was left behind.
The light coming in through the windows fell beautifully on the piano covered in white paint.
One of the buildings within the complex was this colorful gymnasium. Here it is in 2014.
Four years later, some renovations had been done on the room.
I found another piano in this small theater. It stood in front of the stage with a beautiful flower-shaped window in the back.
The flower-shaped window design also appeared in the former gym.
The stunning elegance of staircases like this one stood in contrast to their current state of disrepair.
Remains of what must have been a beautiful painting are still seen on the walls of this enormous room.
I discovered some fascinating decorations on the walls of some buildings.
Most of the buildings' windows and doors have been locked or secured to prevent unwanted visitors. However, that clearly wasn't the case in this small room.
Before 2015, much of the complex was left unguarded, making it a popular destination for urban explorers and thrill seekers, according to Atlas Obscura.
Source: Atlas Obscura
Years of decay have given Beelitz Heilstätten a sort of haunting beauty that stayed with me long after I left the hospital grounds.